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Keep moving to cut your risk of cancer

Keep moving to cut your risk of cancer

By Jessica Ward

One in three of us will develop some type of cancer during our lifetime. No-one is at fault if it happens to them – but we’d all like to reduce our risk if we can.

Studies continue to show that it is possible to reduce our chances of developing cancer by the way that we live our lives. What should we do?

A recent study by Oxford University followed 125000 post-menopausal women over three years. 1000 of these women were diagnosed with breast cancer during the period of the study, a rate of 0.8 per cent.  The study looked at how active the women were, and also recorded their body fat percentages.

As always when assessing risk, there are no absolutes. However the results from this and other studies show that there are two main measures to reduce cancer risk:

  • Taking between 15 and 35 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. This means ‘getting out of breath’ and is in addition to normal activity such as housework and walking to or at work, at the shops and so on.
  • Keeping body fat percentage lower. Evidence from Cancer Research shows that obesity increases cancer risk. Somewhat unfairly for those of on the wrong side of 40, older people increase their risk with a far smaller weight gain.

As we all know, the other important lifestyle measures include not smoking, keeping alcohol consumption low and eating healthily with plenty of fresh food.

Let’s face it; keeping active never did anyone any harm! We know that it helps with weight control and general health. Cutting our cancer risk gives even more of an incentive to head to the gym.


the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.